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without PVD-Improvement

Firdevs UYSAL

Civil Engineering Department, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey, fuysal@cu.edu.tr

Abdulazim YILDIZ

Civil Engineering Department, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey, azim@cu.edu.tr

Zehra MEKK

Civil Engineering Department, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey, zehramekik@hotmail.com

ABSTRACT: The case study analysed within this paper deals with a fully instrumented trial

embankment constructed on soft clay foundations in Sunshine Motorway in Queensland,

Australia. Trial embankment was constructed with three different ground improvement

schemes (Section A: PVDs with 1m spacing, Section B: No PVDs and Section C: PVDs with

2m spacing). Subsoil layer at this site is composed of very soft, highly compressible, saturated

organic marine clays of high sensitivity. The construction and consolidation of an

embankment with and without prefabricated vertical drains is analysed with the finite element

method using recently proposed constitutive model is namely S-CLAY1. The model accounts

for initial and plastic strains induced anisotropy. The results of the numerical analyses are

compared with the field measurements. The good performance of the finite element model in

predicting time dependent behaviour of Sunshine Motorway embankment is presented.

1 INTRODUCTION

Prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) method is still one of the classical and popular methods

in practice. The application of preloading with prefabricated vertical drains has been used to

accelerate the consolidation and to reduce future settlements by shortening the drainage path.

Design of an embankment involving a large number of discrete vertical drains and their own

independent influence zone should be conducted with a fully three dimensional analysis. 3D

finite element modelling of vertical drain system is very sophisticated and requires large

computational effort when applied to a real embankment project with a large number of

PVDs. 2D finite element analyses (FEA) of embankments have commonly been conducted

under plane strain conditions. However, the actual field conditions around vertical drains are

truly 3D and therefore, it is necessary to convert the vertical drain system into equivalent

plane strain condition. The predicted ground disturbance (smear effects) is considered with an

idealized one zone. The influence of the smear zone will have reduced lateral permeability,

which adversely affects soil consolidation. The behaviour of soft soils improved by vertical

707

Numerical analysis of Sunshine Motorway Trial Embankment on soft clay deposit with and without PVD improvement

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

drains is analysed using a plane strain finite element method incorporating the constitutive

model named S-CLAY1.

2 SITE CONDITIONS

In 1992, Queensland Department of Main Roads was commissioned to monitor and interpret

the findings of a fully instrumented this trial embankment. Subsoil layer is composed of very

soft, highly compressible, saturated organic marine clays of high sensitivity at this site. The

trial embankment was constructed with three different ground improvement schemes (i.e.

Section A: PVDs with 1m spacing, Section B: No PVDs and Section C: PVDs with 2m

spacing). The embankment constructed approximately 90m in length and 40m in width and

constructed in stages using a loosely compacted granular material (t 19 kN/m3) up to a

height of 2.3m (see Fig. 1). Berms were constructed to the design width of 5m on the

instrumented side and 8m on the opposite side. A and B sections were the two primary

sections of the trial embankment and each measured 35m in length and Section C, an

intermediate case, was approximately 20m in length. A working platform 0.65m thick 0.5m

thick drainage layer composed of 7mm size gravel. In this study, only Sections B and C were

analysed. In the analysis, the soil profile was divided into 3 sublayers. The subsoil consists of

a silty clay layer (2.5m depth) overlying very soft to soft silty clay extending from 2.5m to

5.5m depth. A 5.5m thick, medium silty clay layer underlies the soft silty clay layer. The

groundwater level is at the ground surface. The vertical drains in both Sections A and C were

installed in a triangular grid pattern. In Section C, PVDs were installed to a depth of 11m

whereas a conventional surcharge without PVDs was constructed in Section B.

3 SCLAY-1 MODEL

The S-CLAY1 model was proposed by Wheeler et al. (2003). The model is an extension of

conventional critical state models, with anisotropy of plastic behaviour represented through an

inclined yield surface and a rotational component of hardening to model the development or

erasure of fabric anisotropy during plastic straining. In the triaxial stress space for a cross

anisotropic sample, the yield surface of the S-CLAY1 model can be expressed in terms of

mean stress p and deviator stress q.

708

Numerical analysis of Sunshine Motorway Trial Embankment on soft clay deposit with and without PVD improvement

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

(1)

where M is the value of the stress ratio q / p ' at critical states, p'm defines the size of the

yield curve and defines the orientation of the yield curve. is a measure of the degree of

plastic anisotropy of the soil and =0 the soil behaviour is isotropic. The model parameters

can be obtained from the results of standard laboratory tests. The model

assumes isotropic elastic behaviour and an associated flow rule. The S-CLAY1 model

incorporates two hardening laws. One concerns changes in the size of the yield surface and

the other concerns changes in the orientation of the yield surface. The former is the same as

used in the MCC model, and the latter can be expressed as

3

d d p v d p d

(2)

4 SOIL PARAMETERS

The numerical analysis was based on constitutive S-CLAY1 model. Soil model incorporated

in the finite element code, PLAXIS V. 8.6 (Brinkgreve and Vermeer, 1998). The mesh

discretization with 15-node triangular elements is shown in Fig. 2. Half width of embankment

was modelled. The adopted parameters of 3 subsoil layers obtained from standard laboratory

tests are listed in Table 1.

Table 1. SCLAY-1 Soil parameters for subsoil layers

Depth

(m)

(kN/m3)

0.0-2.5

2.5-5.5

5.5-11.0

16.4

13.7

15.9

eo

0.3 30 2.2 0.202 2.016 1.20 0.75 0.46 0.76 24

0.3 29.5 1.8 0.053 0.532 1.18 0.73 0.45 0.73 24

709

Numerical analysis of Sunshine Motorway Trial Embankment on soft clay deposit with and without PVD improvement

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

The prefabricated vertical drains were modelled with zero thickness drain elements (the

excess pore pressure along this element is assumed to be zero). In this study, matching

techniques proposed by Hird et al. (1992) is used. The matching technique represents the

typical arrangement of vertical drains in plane strain finite element analyses. Geometric

matching: the drain spacing is matched while maintaining the same permeability coefficient.

The geometric matching was done according to the following equation in the absence of well

resistance

3 R k r 3

B

ln h ln s

R

2 rs ks rw 4

1

2

(3)

B is the half width of the plane strain unit cell; R, rw and rs are radius of the axisymetric unit

cell, the drain and the smear zone respectively; kh and ks are horizontal permeability of the

undisturbed and smeared soil, respectively (Fig. 3). The equivalent permeability kpi is

calculated via the following equation (Hird et al. 1992).

k pi

k ax

2B 2

R k r 3

3R 2 ln ax ln s

rs k s rw 4

(4)

Indraratna and Redana (1997) converted the vertical drain system into an equivalent parallel

drain wall by adjusting the coefficient of soil permeability. They assumed that the half-widths

of unit cell B, of drains bw, and of smear zone bs are the same as their axisymmetric radii R, rw

and rs, respectively. Ignoring the well resistance, the equivalent permeability of the model is

then determined by

k ' hp

k hp n k h

ln s 0.75

ln

s k 'h

(5)

where kh is the horizontal permeability of the undisturbed soil and kh is the horizontal

permeability of disturbed soil, where the subscript p represents the plane strain condition. The

associated geometric parameters and are given by

2 n s

3 n 1n 2

2 s 1

3nn s 1 s 2 s 1

3 n 1n 2

(6)

710

(7)

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

where n=R/rw and s=rs/rw. In this study, the ratio between the horizontal and vertical

permeability within the smear zone was set to 1. The permeability ratio between the

undisturbed and the disturbed smear zone (kh/ks) is 2 and extent of smear zone (rs) is 5 times

the radius of the vertical drain (rw) (Indraratna et al. 2007). Equivalent plane strain

permeabilities of Section B and Section C are listed in Table 2.

Fig. 3. Definition of symbols for unit cell analysis: (a) axisymmetric unit cell; (b) plane strain

unit cell (Yildiz et al. 2009).

Table 2. Equivalent plane strain permeabilities of Section B and Section C

Depth

Section B

Section C

(m)

kh= kv (m/day)

kh (m/day)

0.0-2.5

2.5-5.5

5.5-11.0

8.398e-4

2.938e-5

3.629e-5

1.19e-4

4.17e-6

5.15e-4

The behaviours of the embankment on soft clay with PVDs and without PVDs were simulated

using constitutive model SCLAY1. Section B was simulated without vertical drains and

Section C was simulated with 2m spacing vertical drains on soft soil. The results of the

numerical analyses were compared with the field measurements. The predicted and

measured surface settlements are illustrated in Figs. 4 and 5. The predictions of the

vertical displacements by the anisotropic model S-CLAY1 is good agreement

711

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

with field observations for Sections B and C (Fig.4 and Fig.5). This result shows that

the installation of vertical drains significantly decreases the settlement time. Predicted and

measured excess pore pressure variation with time at the centre line of Section B at a depth of

4.0 m was presented in Fig. 6. It should be noted that for Section B the finite element analysis

indicate very low dissipation of pore pressure. However the measured values in the field show

substantially higher pore pressure dissipation settlement in Section B as well as greater pore

pressure dissipation (Oh, E., 2006). The predicted lateral displacements versus depth

underneath A point on the the embankment are compared with the 2D FEA results in Fig. 7.

after 62 days. The maximum horizontal displacement predicted by FEA analysis is about 0.27

m. That would indicate, while the lateral deformation continue to take place during immediate

settlement and the consolidation settlement seems more or less one dimensional in nature.

Time (day)

40

60

20

80

100

0.00

Settlement (m)

0.10

Field

0.20

FEA

0.30

Fig. 4. 0.40

Surface settlements at the embankment centreline for Section B (No drains)

0.50

712

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

20

Time (day)

40

60

80

100

120

0

0.1

0.2

Field

Settlement (m)

0.3

FEA

0.4

0.5

0.6

Fig.5. Surface settlements at the embankment centreline for Section C (2m drain

spacing)

0.7

0.8

50

0.9

40

Field

FEA

30

20

10

Fig. 6. Predicted and measured excess pore pressure variation with time the centre line of

Section B at a depth of 4.0 m

0

100

200

300

Time (day)

713

400

500

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

200

300

400

100

500

0.00

-2.00

Field

FEA

Depht (m)

-4.00

-6.00

-8.00

Fig. 7. Lateral displacements in Section B at A point

-10.00

-12.00

6 CONCLUSIONS

This paper presents 2D finite element analyses of an embankment with PVD and without

PVD on soft clay. A recently developed elasto-plastic S-CLAY1 which accounts for

plastic anisotropy and its extension is used to represent the soft soil. The results

of the numerical analyses were compared with the field measurements. The

numerical simulations demonstrate that the agreement between the finiteelement predictions using the anisotropic constitutive model S-CLAY1 and

the field observations is generally very good. 2D behaviour of vertical drains is

converted into equivalent plane strain conditions with matching techniques proposed by Hird

et al. (1992). The matching procedures proposed for the equivalent plane strain model were

adopted in the study, based on the verification of the matching procedures with advanced

model S-CLAY1. A multidrain analysis of the whole embankment on PVD-improved subsoil

was performed using the combined matching procedure by Hird et al. (1992). The back

analyses showed that the settlements calculated with the S-CLAY models agreed with the

field measurements when rs /rw=5 (extent of smear zone over the radius of the vertical drain)

and kh /ks=2 (The permeability ratio between the undisturbed and the disturbed smear zone).

Further investigations should consider the creep effect, using the time dependent advanced

soil models.

714

Uysal, F., Yildiz, A.A., & Mekik, Z.,

REFERENCES

Brinkgreve, R.B.J., Vermeer, P.A., (1998) Plaxis Reference Manual (Version 8) University of

Stuttgart, Germany A.A. Balkema/Rotterdam/ Brookfield.

Indraratna B., Redana IW., (1997). Plane strain modeling of smear effects associated with

vertical drains. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng;123(5):4748.

Indraratna B., Rujikiatkamjorn C., Wijeyakulasuriya V., (2007) Soft clay stabilization using

prefabricated vertical drains and the role of viscous creep at the site of sunshine motorway,

Queensland, in Proceedings of the 10th Australia New Zealand Conference on

Geomechanics, Brisbane, Australia, 2, 96-101.

Oh, E., (2006) Geotechnical and ground improvement aspects of motorway

embankments in soft clay, Southeast Queensland, in Griffith School of

Engineering 2006, Griffith University, Gold coast.

Hird, C. C., Pyrah, I. C., and Russell, D. (1992) Finite element modeling of vertical drains

beneath embankments on soft ground. Geotechnique, 42(3), 499511.

Wheeler, S. J., Ntnen, A., Karstunen, M., And Lojander, M., (2003) An Anisotropic Elasto

Plastic Model for Soft Clays. Can. Geotech. J.,40, 403418.

Yildiz A (2009) Numerical analyses of embankments on PVD improved soft clays. Adv. Eng.

Softw. 40(10):10471055

715

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